Last night, I tried to edit the menu.lst file so that the new grub boot loader that came with my new instillation of Debian could boot up my old Ubuntu instillation too. Things didn’t turn out very well.
Debian doesn’t come with a gui to edit the grub boot loader, and the only up to date one I found online (kgrubeditor) didn’t have a Debian package for it. There was an Ubuntu .deb package, but it wouldn’t work with Debian. Which means that the tool to fix my problem would only run in the OS that I needed the tool to get to.
This left me with a boot loader that would only boot Debian or Windows. The problem is that I haven’t really done anything with my Windows partition in over a year, and I was rapidly loosing patience with Debian because of the problems with grub. By 5am I’d decided to just give up, and reinstall Linux Mint over the Debian instillation. I knew that Mint was set up so that it’s grub boot loader would see an Ubuntu instillation, and more importantly, it was an OS that didn’t need me to fiddle with it to get it to run compiz and play flash video online. So, that’s what I did.
But, to top this all off, my Ubuntu instillation got corrupted somehow during this series of events, so I still can’t boot up into it.
I’m just going to use Linux Mint to back up the home folder on my Ubuntu partition, and start again from scratch. I’ve been toying around with a lot of distros lately, and I’m looking to get into some harder stuff than Ubuntu, Mint, and Mandriva. I just want the boot loader to be able to boot my other distros. With all the hassle I went through last night, I’m sick of seeing “kernel panic” pop up and lock my computer during boot up. I don’t mind experimenting, but when the computer won’t even boot right, I loose my patience.
In the future, if I suspect a new boot loader won’t recognize one of my distros, I won’t install it in the Master Boot Record, and just install it locally to that partition instead. That way, I can just chain the boot loaders by pointing the old one at the new one, instead of trying to figure out how to manually get grub to boot an OS it doesn’t already see.
P.S. The new version of Ubuntu is out (8.10), and it works great with my Macbook. It even installs the right wifi drivers automatically after instillation.